Ineos unveils new Fusilier 4x4 in electric and range extender models

A small petrol engine will act as backup generator to deal with range anxiety in the electric SUV

23 February 2024 - 16:30
By Denis Droppa
The Fusilier will be the third model line from Ineos Automotive and should hit the market by 2027.
Image: Supplied The Fusilier will be the third model line from Ineos Automotive and should hit the market by 2027.

British carmaker Ineos Automotive has unveiled the Fusilier, an electric 4x4 SUV which will hit the market in late 2026 or early 2027.

It is the fledgling automotive company’s third model line after the Grenadier 4x4 SUV and Quartermaster pick-up, both of which recently went on sale in South Africa powered by petrol and diesel engines.

The Fusilier electric vehicle (EV) will deliver world-class off-road capability and offers zero and low emission options, said Ineos chairperson Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

An all-electric and a range extender electric will be offered, the latter to have a small petrol engine that powers a generator to maintain the charge level of the battery for when external charging isn’t available.

The range extender, similar to what was offered in the now-discontinued BMW i3 electric car, will offer customers a low emissions drive without the range anxiety drivers of EVs experience, said Ineos.

“We are beginning to understand the clear limitations of battery electric in certain situations,” said Ratcliffe.

“To move to decarbonisation but continue making cars that consumers want to drive, we need a mix of powertrain technologies. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are perfect for certain uses: shorter trips and urban deliveries, but industry and governments need to have realistic expectations about other technologies that can help accelerate the necessary pace of change.

“The two powertrain options provide a real-world reduction in carbon emissions without compromise to the off-road capability or the on-road performance.”

The Fusilier’s power output and range haven’t yet been announced, with Ineos to provide these and other technical details later this year.

What is known is the vehicle will be a hard-core off-roader and slightly smaller than the Grenadier, a rugged 4x4 on a box-section ladder-frame chassis. Pictures on Friday show the Fusilier has a boxy design more streamlined than the petrol- and diesel-powered Grenadier. Where the Grenadier was heavily inspired by previous generation Land Rover Defenders, the Fusilier has distinct Mercedes G-Class vibes.

The Fusilier was unveiled in eight colours including bright yellow.
Image: Supplied The Fusilier was unveiled in eight colours including bright yellow.

Toby Ecuyer, head designer at Ineos, said the Fusilier builds on the Grenadier’s DNA with a modern, more streamlined look and distinctive identity. To maximise its range, aerodynamic features include active grille shutters that open and close automatically to manage airflow depending on cooling or range-efficiency requirements, and extensive use of flushed glazing.

Like the Grenadier and Quartermaster, the Fusilier has circular LED front and rear lights and visible door hinges, with the latter recessed for airflow.

The interior design hasn’t been revealed but Ecuyer said the Fusilier will retain the analogue overhead switches and physical buttons of its stablemates.

Like the Grenadier and Quartermaster, the Fusilier was developed in conjunction with automotive supplier Magna, which will also manufacture the vehicle in its facility in Graz, Austria.

In July 2023, Ineos unveiled a Grenadier hydrogen fuel cell technology demonstrator at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of its commitment to future decarbonisation. The company said the demonstrator is ready for production but hydrogen refuelling infrastructure needs to be in place before it is commercially viable.